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Sumowski J.F.,Kessler Foundation Research Center | Leavitt V.M.,The New School
Multiple Sclerosis Journal | Year: 2013

Cognitive impairment is common among persons with multiple sclerosis (MS), but some patients are able to withstand considerable disease burden (e.g. white matter lesions, cerebral atrophy) without cognitive impairment (cognitive inefficiency, memory decline). What protects these patients from cognitive impairment? We review the literature on cognitive reserve in MS, which shows that heritable (larger maximal lifetime brain growth) and environmental (greater intellectual enrichment) factors attenuate the negative effect of disease burden on cognitive status. That is, persons with larger maximal lifetime brain growth, greater vocabulary knowledge, and/or greater early life participation in cognitive leisure activities (e.g. reading, hobbies) are better able to cope with MS disease without cognitive impairment. We review evidence that benefits of intellectual enrichment on cognitive status may stem from more efficient patterns of brain function. We discuss clinical implications and highlight important unanswered questions for future research on reserve against cognitive impairment in MS. © The Author(s) 2013. Source

Goedert K.M.,Seton Hall University | Boston R.C.,University of Pennsylvania | Barrett A.M.,Kessler Foundation Research Center
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2013

Valid research on neglect rehabilitation demands a statistical approach commensurate with the characteristics of neglect rehabilitation data: neglect arises from impairment in distinct brain networks leading to large between-subject variability in baseline symptoms and recovery trajectories. Studies enrolling medically ill, disabled patients, may suffer from missing, unbalanced data, and small sample sizes. Finally, assessment of rehabilitation requires a description of continuous recovery trajectories. Unfortunately, the statistical method currently employed in most studies of neglect treatment [repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA), rANOVA] does not well-address these issues. Here we review an alternative, mixed linear modeling (MLM), that is more appropriate for assessing change over time. MLM better accounts for between-subject heterogeneity in baseline neglect severity and in recovery trajectory. MLM does not require complete or balanced data, nor does it make strict assumptions regarding the data structure. Furthermore, because MLM better models between-subject heterogeneity it often results in increased power to observe treatment effects with smaller samples. After reviewing current practices in the field, and the assumptions of rANOVA, we provide an introduction to MLM. We review its assumptions, uses, advantages, and disadvantages. Using real and simulated data, we illustrate how MLM may improve the ability to detect effects of treatment over ANOVA, particularly with the small samples typical of neglect research. Furthermore, our simulation analyses result in recommendations for the design of future rehabilitation studies. Because between-subject heterogeneity is one important reason why studies of neglect treatments often yield conflicting results, employing statistical procedures that model this heterogeneity more accurately will increase the efficiency of our efforts to find treatments to improve the lives of individuals with neglect. © 2013 Goedert,Bostonand Barrett. Source

Ifejika-Jones N.L.,University of Houston | Barrett A.M.,The New School | Barrett A.M.,Kessler Foundation Research Center
Neurotherapeutics | Year: 2011

Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability. The goal of stroke rehabilitation is to improve recovery in the years after a stroke and to decrease long-term disability. This article, titled "Rehabilitation-Emerging Technologies, Innovative Therapies, and Future Objectives" gives evidence-based information on the type of rehabilitation approaches that are effective to improve functional mobility and to address cognitive impairments. We review the importance of taking a translational approach to neurorehabilitation, considering the interaction of motor and cognitive systems, skilled learned purposeful limb movement, and spatial navigation ability. Known biologic mechanisms of neurorecovery are targeted in relation to technology implemented by members of the multidisciplinary team. Results from proof-of-concept, within subjects, and randomized controlled trials are presented, and the implications for optimal stroke rehabilitation strategies are discussed. Developing clinical practices are highlighted and future research directions are proposed with goals to provide insight on what the next steps are for this burgeoning discipline. © 2011 The American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, Inc. Source

Arnett P.A.,Pennsylvania State University | Strober L.B.,Kessler Foundation Research Center
Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics | Year: 2011

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common nontraumatic neurological condition of early and middle adulthood. Cognitive and neurobehavioral problems associated with this disorder are common. Approximately 50% of MS patients experience lifetime clinical depression, and at least 50% will experience significant cognitive difficulties. Fatigue is also extremely common and disabling in MS and appears to be associated with sleep problems and primary neurological features, in addition to secondary factors, including depression and pain. Quality of life is affected in MS by all of these factors and is an especially salient issue given that patients often live for many years following diagnosis. In this article, we explore the literature on cognitive and neurobehavioral features in MS, provide a commentary on the state of the literature and make suggestions for research directions over the next 5 years that would move the field forward significantly. © 2011 Expert Reviews Ltd. Source

Whyte J.,Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute | Barrett A.M.,Kessler Foundation Research Center | Barrett A.M.,The New School
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation | Year: 2012

Translational research refers to the development of new scientific discoveries into evidence-based treatments for human diseases and conditions. This developmental process requires that a number of scientific, as well as social and psychological obstacles, be overcome during a sequence of research stages that address different goals. Rehabilitation, like other biomedical disciplines, requires this kind of developmental process. For a variety of reasons, however, development of rehabilitation treatments is less linear than the familiar phases of pharmaceutical research. In addition, research on treatments intended to address impairments (body structure/function, in terms of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health), faces the challenge of determining the likely impact of an impairment-level treatment on the multifaceted activities and aspects of participation that are the typical goals of rehabilitation treatments. This article describes the application of treatment theory and enablement theory to the development of new impairment-based treatments, and examines similarities and differences between the developmental sequence needed for rehabilitation treatment research versus pharmaceutical research in other areas of medicine. © 2012 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Source

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